Accepted paper:

Waiting for German elderly: Care outsourcing through global care corporations and transnational care entrepreneurs in Poland

Authors:

Kristine Krause (University of Amsterdam)
Mariusz Sapieha (University of Amsterdam)
Mariusz Sapieha (University of Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

Care outsourcing is a new phenomenon of transnational care arrangements. Based on exploratory research we argue that care outsourcing to Poland is an effect of transnational mobilities in articulation with increasing privatization of the care landscape and local projects of future making.

Paper long abstract:

Tensions in many Western European countries around costs and quality of care have resulted in import of migrant carers. In scope much smaller, and less researched, is the phenomenon of not moving the carer, but the person who needs care to a different country where costs are lower. Mobility of the aged thereby ranges from retirement migration (mostly from the European North to European South or within Asia) to care outsourcing (Ormond and Toyota 2016). In Europe, Poland is at the forefront of these kinds of developments not only in sending out many care workers, but also in building care homes that are targeting clients (in particular) from Germany. Terms used in media discussions about this phenomenon range from "grandma deportation", to "geriatric colonialism" and "great business opportunities". Many care homes however still "wait" for Germans to come. Through exploratory research we tried to understand the scope of the phenomenon, and what it becomes in different trajectories of funding. We found two different kinds of care entrepreneurships: transnational corporations and family owned businesses. Both are involved in future making projects, most visibly in the materialities of new or converted care buildings. Based on our preliminary findings, we suggest analyzing care-outsourcing at the intersection of three overlapping angles: 1) the increasing local privatization of the care landscape, including diverse entrepreneurial trajectories; 2) effects from transnational migration among the entrepreneurs, carers, clients and their relatives; 3) projects of future making, including how global corporations attempt to shape local welfare states.

panel P090
Ageing, care and transnational mobilities